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I. Answer the questions:

  1. How would you define the topic of the speech?

  2. Does Tony Benn approve of the increase in the number of Prime Ministers advisers? Why? / Why not?

  3. Why is, according to Tony Benn, the Cabinet no longer the centre of real decision- making?

  4. What makes Tony Benn think that Great Britain is on its way to a Presidential Republic?

  5. Does Tony Benn speak against Prime Minister's grip on power?

  6. What does he suggest the members of the House of Com­mons should do about the Prime Minister's growing role in decision- making?

  7. According to the speaker, what should MPs be guided by in their decisions?

II. Paraphrase or explain:

  1. "It appears to me, increasingly, all effective power comes from No 10 Downing Street". What does Downing Street stand for?

  2. What "real cabinet" does the speaker have in mind in the phrase "... it is now becoming apparent to many people that the real cabinet is now in No 10 Downing Street and that policy an­nouncements made have been discussed within that cabinet"?

  3. "... although I hold strong views, I make no comment". What views does Tony Benn hold? Why does he make no com­ment?

  4. "I greatly resent the current personalization of media cover­age — the references to the "awkward squad", "mavericks" and "rebels". What does the term "media coverage" mean? In what way do the media "personalize" their reports? Are "awkward squads", "mavericks", "rebels" terms of abuse? Who is referred to in this way?

  5. "It has expressed my deep convictions and my determina­tion that the new tendency towards centralization should not obliterate the very thing of which we boast most proudly". What is it they boast proudly of? What does "obliterate" mean?

III. What means of emphasis are used in the speech?

1. Find examples of:

  1. emphaitic structures

  2. inversion used for emphasis

  3. emotionally charged vocabulary

  4. rhetorical doubles or triples.

2. What features of overt power are there in the speech?

IV. What softening or mitigating devices are used in the speech?

  1. Find examples of humour

  2. Find uncertainty markers, like "I suppose..."

  3. Find euphemistic expressions or examples of understatement.

V. Talking points

  1. In what way is the presidential power restricted in the USA? What are the prerogatives of the Prime Minister in the UK?

  2. "The debate is about the oldest issue of all — the relation­ship between the government and the governed". What re­lationship is the MP talking about?


Public speaking, which is an example of formal language, makes use of inversion (changing the order of words in a sen­tence) for rhetorical effect.

Inversion takes place:

1) after negative adverbials such as:

never, nowhere, not for one minute, nor, never again, never before, not since, not until;

  1. in certain established sentence patterns: hardly/scarcely ... when, no sooner ... than;

  2. after expression with "only" and "no":

not only ... but also, at no time, in no way, on no account, under no circumstances, on no condition, only if/after/when.

4) instead of "if" in conditional sentences

5) after adverbs: so/such ... that, rarely, seldom, little, hardly

Let's practice inversion.

Exercise 14

Decide which sentences are inappropriate in the context given.

1. Guest to host: "So nice was that pudding, that I would like to have some more".

2. Witness to court: "No sooner had I turned out the light, than I heard a noise outside".

3. Newsreader: Such was the force of the earthquake, that whole villages have been devastated".

4. Parent to child: "Should you fancy a pizza, let's order one now".

5. Friend to friend: "Never before have I seen this film".

  1. Politician to audience: "Seldom has the country faced a gre­ater threat".

  2. Celebrity to interviewer: "Were I to have the time, I'd go climbing more often".

  3. Victim to police officer: "Scarcely had we been introduced when he punched me for no reason".

  4. Printed notice: "Under no circumstances is this control panel to be left unattended".

  5. Colleague to colleague: "Should you change your mind, just let me know".

  6. Friend to friend: "Had you arrived earlier, you would have seen it".

Exercise IS

Rewrite the following sentences, inverting the subject and verb,

and using one of the patterns mentioned above.


  1. The President will never give in to public pressure.

  2. As soon as the meeting started, skinheads began heckling the orator.

  3. None of those present could suspect the general of complic­ity in the crime for one moment.

  4. I have never been so upset in all my life.

  5. You will not find craftsmanship of such quality anywhere.

  6. I will never tolerate such behaviour again.

  7. They disclosed the information to the media only when they were certain of the outcome.

  8. Good brandy is ready for consumption only after it has ma­tured for ten years.

  9. This government has deceived the public, and it has deceived itself.

  10. These papers should not be left unattended under any circumstances.

  11. The values of our society are at risk, and the very survival of the nation is threatened.

  12. Philosophers are rarely appreciated while they are still alive.

13.Children little realize that their world of innocence soon dis­appears.

14. I did not intend to deceive you at any time.

15. If I ever told you a lie, I wouldn't be able to look you in the eye.

16. I respect her opinion, and I admire her character greatly well

17. If you require any further information, do not hesitate to contact me


  1. The speaker ascended the stage and the audience immediate­ly gave him a welcoming round of applause.

  2. The audience had never seen such a professional performance before.

  3. The speaker wrote out his introduction and edited it info its best form.

  1. If something weird happens, it must be addressed in the introduction. If you hadn't ignored this lesson you wouldn't have lost your credibility and your audience.

  2. The noise subsided only after the speaker used an intriguing fact in his introduction.

6. The speaker shouldn't play with the microphone when delivering his speech.

7. Don't admit on any account that you've given the identical

speech a million times for other audiences.

8. I have failed to deliver a really good speech just once or twice.


1. The measures were such that they helped ease both the re­sentment and the arrogance.

  1. If Britain left the community, the EU would be knocking on its door the next day.

  2. As soon as America said goodbye to Ronald Reagan it start­ed saying hello to Bill Clinton.

  3. Washington will consider lifting all its sanctions only when the instalments have been made.

  4. When I arrived in Chengdu I at once went to the local regis­try of motor vehicles to renew my driver's license.

  5. There are too many inexperienced drivers, the police don't enforce traffic laws and nobody wears seat belts.

  6. If I were on a desert island I would certainly have to have an Abba album.

  1. Only after 1972 Barry Manilow gained popularity when he played Carnegie Hall the first time as pianist for the bur­geoning cabaret star Bette Midler.

  2. The political will to undertake such a project can be sum­moned only when some crisis makes the need for it apparent to all.

  3. The virus research group decoded a virus once it had been detected.

  4. If hackers were motivated not by loneliness or greed, but by malice, we would face a global cybercrisis.

  5. Italy's Health Ministry until recently didn't take measures to bar alcohol advertising targeting young people.

  6. The law severely restricted advertising and sport sponsor­ship by alcohol manufacturers and it added a series of alco­hol taxes.

  7. Europe won't face a brighter future until governments or parents come up with a way to convince teenagers that drink­ing is evil.

Exercise 16

Complete each sentence with a suitable word or phrase.

  1. Scarcely ___________ , when the pilot had to make an emergency landing.

  2. Little what has been going on in her absence.

  3. No sooner than I realized that I'd left my notes on the platform.

4. Only when on the light did we notice that the hall was packed to capacity.

  1. Not until I asked a passer-by ________ where I was.

  2. Seldom does below freezing at this time of the year.

  3. Hardly his speech, when the minister was inter­rupted.

  4. On no account am while I am in a meeting.

  5. Rarely has in this university written a better composition.

  6. In no way bear responsibility for injuries to passengers.

  7. Were life on other planets ever__________ there would still be problems with communication.


  1. I been so impressed by a piece of music.

2. ________ half a century ago has there been such a fair.

3. ________ leaked information to the press did the full story emerge.

4. ________ he walked into the hall than he was met by a storm of applause.

5. ________ I settled down in a chair with a book and a cup of tea when the telephone rang.

6. you find that the ride is smooth but you will hardly hear the engine.

7. to come on time we would be able to finish the work tonight.

8. _________ could I persuade her to accept the reward.

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